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Naturally Removing Excess Mucus and Phlegm

Mother of 2 daughters and grandmother of 7, I strive daily to achieve an optimum level of health and happiness. Life is all about balance.

Steam from soup or a hot beverage can help relieve congestion.

Steam from soup or a hot beverage can help relieve congestion.

A Cold or Flu Can Leave You Congested and Gasping for Breath

Wheezing, sneezing, coughing—chest rattling with every breath, tissue box sitting close at hand—these are all signs that you might be suffering from an excess mucus problem.

Whatever the reason is, where mucus is concerned, too much of a good thing is definitely not a good thing. You begin to drown in the very fluids that your body produces to protect you from harm. Fortunately, there are natural treatments to help you cope.

A buildup of excess phlegm may develop because you are suffering from a bad case of the flu, the common cold, or an allergy. It could also be that you are a smoker. Or, perhaps you have recently undergone a major surgery and spent more time in bed than you usually do which has prevented you from working the mucus from your lungs.

Excess Phlegm Can Be a Very Serious Matter

Mucus and phlegm are part of your body's natural defense mechanism. The body creates these fluids as a means to rid itself of germs, bacteria or other small, foreign particles that could otherwise be harmful to it. The particulate is caught up in the mucus and then flows out trapped within the goo into a waiting handkerchief to be easily disposed of.

Although mucus is a natural occurrence, like anything else that can go wrong within our system, when it gets out of control it can become a very bad thing. We find that we are drowning in our own body fluids.

In the event of excess mucus buildup, there are two factors that have to be taken care of and quickly: Your current health situation needs to be brought under control, and it needs to be discovered why things went so drastically wrong. A distinct set of preventative measures can be put in place to stop it from occurring again.

Drink hot honey lemon water. It is soothing with antibacterial properties.

Drink hot honey lemon water. It is soothing with antibacterial properties.

A Simple Lung Exercise May Remove That Mucus Buildup

There is a simple lung exercise which is a powerful tool for removing excess mucus from the lung. It is very easy to learn as it is merely a series of deep breaths followed by a cough.

Sit in a chair or on the side of the bed, breath in slowly as deeply as you can, then release this breath fully. Do four to five deep breaths in this same manner, and on the last inhalation period, rather than just breathing the air out, quickly cough it out.

It is actually very easy to initiate this cough, and it is very effective. The mucus is expelled. Repeat the breathing exercise as needed.

Steam It Out

Turn the shower on, steam up the bathroom, then get in there. Steam is an old fashioned cold remedy and one that can work quite successfully to help get that mucous out. It is a quick and simple solution for both children and adults. When I am experiencing difficulty breathing I use this method combined with the above lung exercise to ease up the phlegm issues.

A side benefit to steaming is that the warmth of the water also relaxes the muscles. Relieving that tension can also help to alleviate some symptoms.

There Are Ways to Relieve Congestion and Stop the Cough

Many times, the mucus begins in the nasal passages from a sinus infection or reaction to an allergy. Because of the extreme amount of mucus and congestion produced, this fluid drips or is inhaled downward and winds up pooling in the lungs.

The resulting congestion can be very difficult to deal with. Anyone who has suffered from allergies, the flu, or a seasonal cold has probably noticed this pooling of mucus within the lungs. Too much mucus in the lung can cause severe breathing difficulty and increase the risk of infection.

Stop Your Cough With the Natural Antibacterial Properties of Honey

The steam from sipping a hot drink of natural lemon or two tablespoons lemon juice and one teaspoon honey added to hot water will help open clogged passageways and relieve the congestion. The honey will help to soothe the throat area, prevent bacteria from thriving there, and stop a cough.

Studies show that honey is as effective at stopping a cough as is commercial cough syrup. The good news about choosing honey is that honey is natural and has many more health benefits to it than just that of a decongestant. It is also an antibacterial agent so it can help heal your throat and intestinal issues as well.

Deep breathing within a hot shower will also provide immediate relief from both the nasal and lung congestion. Or a chest ointment made from olive oil and your choice of camphor, eucalyptus or peppermint can also help to relieve symptoms of congestion. Singing will also help clear your lungs of mucus and help to increase lung capacity.

Lemon juice or a hot honey lemon drink are great for when you have a cold.

Lemon juice or a hot honey lemon drink are great for when you have a cold.

Salt Is a Natural Therapy That Works to Reduce Congestion

Fortunately, there are natural ways to relieve your sinus congestion, slow down the excess mucus and phlegm, aide your breathing difficulty, and help to quickly get you feeling a little healthier.

Salt is a natural antiseptic which can aid in healing. For those who suffer from asthma, salt can be very beneficial in helping to control symptoms. Salt will help to kill germs and bacteria. There are many commercial saline solutions (salt and water) which can be used to clear the nasal and sinus passages to make breathing through clogged nasal passages a little easier.

You can easily create your own saline solution using warm boiled water and salt. You can sniff this solution from your hand, or place it in your nose using a finger wet in the solution; sniff deeply to bring the solution into your sinus cavities.

Use a humidifier or steamer in your home. If you do not have one, then boil a pot of water on the stove to get moisture into the air.

Note: It is very important to always use boiled water to sniff or gargle to prevent further bacteria or other contaminants from entering the body.

A Neti Pot Can Help to Relieve Congestion, or Sniff Boiled Salt Water

Using a Neti pot to help cleanse the sinus passages with a salt water solution will help to relieve sinus congestion and kill the bacteria that reside there.

You can use a Neti pot to help with a cold, flu, or excess mucus or phlegm brought on by allergies. Just be sure to use water that has been boiled and insure that your Neti pot is sterile and clean for each use.

I gargle with warm salt water throughout the day whenever I am feeling exceptionally congested, and then I use a bit of the salt water in my hand to sniff it into my nostrils. Sometimes I will simply apply it with my finger and then sniff to draw it into the nasal cavities.

  • Get a flu shot. It really does work.
  • Rinse your toothbrush in mouthwash to help stop the return of germs.

Use Natural Therapies to Help Stop Congestion and Cough

Keep in mind that honey is a natural antibacterial. Salt will kill germs and bacteria. Use these natural therapies to your advantage. You can sip a hot honey drink to get honey's full health benefits and you can simply breathe in the steam from a boiling salt water infusion.

Placing salt and boiling water into a bowl creates a steamy solution. You have only to pop a towel over your head and then lean over it to take advantage of its steamy benefits.

A proper diet always helps to improve a person's immune system and health, so eating responsibly can be a tremendous health aid. In your diet, try to avoid a lot of red meats, dairy products, or grains such as wheat which might trigger an attack of excess mucus secretion.

Vitamins that help to prevent mucus buildup include vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and cod liver oil, so include them into your supplement program. They are all vitamin or mineral supplements that will help to reduce excess mucus or phlegm from developing.

Massage a mentholated rub onto the bottoms of your feet before you go to bed.

Your Home Could Be Causing Your Breathing Issues

If you suspect that it is the quality of the air in your home which may be the reason for your breathing difficulties, then dust mite covers for your mattresses and pillows, a humidifier, dehumidifier or an air purifier can be used to help improve the air quality within your home.

Often it is allergens or pollutants that are the root cause of excess phlegm and mucus problems. Your sinuses plug up and then they drain. This occurs on a continuous basis causing an excess mucus and phlegm problem. All this additional mucous generally winds up pooling in the lungs.

Cigarette smoke, plant pollens, household pollutants such as paint, cleaning fluids, cat dander, dust mites, or mold can all contribute. A mucus attack can also begin if you are exposed to excess dust out of doors, or to smoke, and its accompanying particles from a campfire or a neighboring forest fire.

Small wood dust particulate, if you are sanding or standing near someone who is, can also trigger an excess phlegm attack to occur. In an attempt to rid itself of the small particles, your body will produce extra mucus to catch and maintain this material so it can be flushed from the body with the next cough or sneeze. Too much exposure to these small particulates will lead to your body producing excess mucus.

Walk to Help Clear Your Lungs

Walking is one of the best exercises for keeping your lungs strong and clear of mucus. It is also an exercise program that virtually anyone can participate in. You can jog from room to room within your home or get out into the sunshine and go for a quick walk outdoors. Just keep in mind when walking outdoors that you are doing a return trip and don't walk so far out that you can't make the return walk back home in comfort.

A treadmill enables you to continue exercising even when it is too cold to walk outside during those long winter months. They are also nice to have to jump onto throughout the day.

Every few extra steps help, so don't think that five minutes here or there isn't sufficient to make a difference. It all aids in building up your stamina, clearing your lungs of mucus, and making them as well as your heart much stronger. The more fit you are, then the more ability you will have to fight off a lung infection.

Pet dander can initiate a sensitivity in some individuals.

Pet dander can initiate a sensitivity in some individuals.

Know What Your Triggers Are

The triggers which lead to an excess mucus problem must be removed if the attacks themselves are to be stopped.

Being exposed to small particulate can be very dangerous so I try to avoid this trigger as much as I am able to. I have an illness which weakens my muscles, thereby causing me to have shallow breathing. I often do not breath deeply enough to reach the bottom of my lung. I just do not have the strength to work excess mucus from my lungs once it is there so I drown.

I know what my triggers are and I avoid them as much as I am able to. Discover what yours are and remove, eliminate, or avoid them as much as you are able to. This will stop your body from having to protect itself by producing excess mucus.

Open a Window to Get Fresh Air Into Your Home

Studies show that the indoor pollutants within your home are probably around five times higher than the pollutants floating around in the air outdoors.

Keep a window in your home open at least one inch in both the summer and winter. If you are not able to do this then try to open a window for at least fifteen minutes each day to allow for an exchange of fresh air into your home.

Laughter Can Help Clear Your Lungs of Congestion

A good laugh will not only help to clear the mucus from your lungs, but it will also release endorphins, and these will help to make you feel better. Endorphins are the body's natural painkiller, and they are released when you exercise, smile, laugh, or participate in any other pleasurable activities.

So, find any reason that you can to laugh and have a really great chuckle, it's good for you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2008 Lorelei Cohen

Do You Suffer From Chronic Breathing Difficulties?

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on June 04, 2014:

I do when I catch a cold and my friend always tells me to drink honey with hot water.

Stephanie from Canada on May 15, 2014:

This lens was great! I'm having some mucous problems lately because of a cold I haven't quite kicked. Some great tips here!

marsha32 on March 20, 2014:

ugh! I am suffering a mucous problem for 6+ weeks now. I know that I should go to the doctor, or at least try an over the counter med for it. A cough has never lasted this long.

Odille Rault from Gloucester on February 01, 2014:

Wow, what a fascinating lens! I don't have a problem with mucous normally, but of course, with colds and flu, it can be really bad. There's so much great information and advice on this page. I'm bookmarking it for the next time I catch a virus... :)

Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on December 31, 2013:

Yes, I do. (I've had bronchial asthma.) Thank you for this informative lens. - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on December 26, 2013:

@sierradawn lm: I am so glad that I could help. I hope you are doing better and can avoid the flu this year. Not being able to breathe really is terrifying. Flu and cold are very frightening for me now but I seem to have gotten our home breathing proofed now so that the indoor allergens are kept under control.

sierradawn lm on December 21, 2013:

I suffer from chronic bronchitis and have constant phlegm problems. Your lens is a lifesaver! Thank you!

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on October 06, 2013:

@anonymous: I am also on flovent and the salbutamol inhalers. You may have to check around your home to really allergen proof it to help your breathing difficulties. I know removing our rugs and using dust mite covers on our beds really helped me out.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on October 06, 2013:

@darkflowers: When you have chronic illness over time a lot of alternative therapies just naturally get incorporated into your lifestyle. Survival mode. My breathing difficulties are more because of weak muscle strength and an inability to bring trapped mucous out. The lungs are certainly a very important part of the body processes.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on October 06, 2013:

@David Stone1: It definitely seems that the cities are becoming much more polluted and this is certainly not helping with breathing difficulties that many individuals face. Neighbors on both sides of us have the old wood stoves too which just kills my lungs. I know they have new particle-less ones but these guys definitely don't have those.

David Stone from New York City on September 19, 2013:

Rarely at any serious level, but living in New York City with a galaxy of pollutants, there is a persistent stuffiness that goes away only when out of town. Very helpful lens.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 14, 2013:

@anonymous: I was always very sick as a child too. As a teenager I moved to work in a mountain lodge and after that time it was years before I was sick again. I kind of wonder if it was because there was little electricity or other pollutants there up so high. The water would have been very clean as well. Glad to hear that you stumbled onto something that increased your health as well.

anonymous on September 14, 2013:

Wow, lots of great information here! I remember as a young adult I used to get bronchial pneumonia every year for around 5 or 6 years, then never got it again.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 12, 2013:

@LiteraryMind: I was taught it in the hospital after I had surgery. I have bad lungs so it was a good preventative exercise for me to learn and I have used to often since then. Hope it helps.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on September 12, 2013:

I always get a really bad cough, that lasts for weeks, when I have cold. I never heard of the mucous exercise before. I will try it next time.

Anja Toetenel from The Hague, the Netherlands on September 11, 2013:

I have COPD so this means a lot of these problems. I use lots of remedies to stay healthy! Thank you for this great Lens! Very useful information, Ladymermaid!

anonymous on August 08, 2013:

I have been diagnosed with COPD and Chronic Bronchitis. My main problem is excess mucus. It seems like I am coughing it up night and day. It's hard to sleep because of coughing up mucus. I take Flovent, Floradil and Spireva inhalers but so far there has been no improvement in the excess mucus.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on July 01, 2013:

@anonymous: You take care of yourself. There are so many pollutants today that younger people are having so very many more health issues than people of my age. Keep your window open a crack all year round. I found it really helps.

anonymous on June 30, 2013:

I've always been somewhat sickly, but my second year of theological studies I got a very bad case of bronchitus which lasted about 3 months. Ever since then I am somewhat prone to certain things. Last winter I got a very bad sinus infection which resulted in over a month long (and very bad) headache. It was painful and frankly, scary. This article was helpful. I will have to remember it for next year.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on June 16, 2013:

@LisaAuch1: It sounds like you have one I have. I am off the antibiotics and just starting to walk again to try to clear the build up of mucous out of the bottom of my lungs. The seasonal colds and flu really do seem to be getting nastier each year. I hope you feel better soon.

Lisa Auch from Scotland on June 16, 2013: I was here 2011 last time and found great tips to help with a wheezing cough :) so after a surprise visit to A&E as I was that bad I just could not catch my breath, and an awful nasty chest infection back to remind myself of the tips you gave :)

Fay Favored from USA on June 13, 2013:

There are a lot of good suggestions here. The breathing exercise is easy and can be done while you are working. Thanks for the links, as you know, I will check them out.

WriterJanis2 on June 04, 2013:

I will remember the hot honey water the next time one of my kids gets sick.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on June 02, 2013:

@anonymous: My husband is a pack rat (hoarder I am sure) so dust in our home is always a big issue for me. Many people do not realize how important an aspect simple dust can be in their breathing issues but a lot of the arise because dust mites are generally happily doing their thing and that dust can indicate a dust mite problem. Many individuals are very sensitive to dust mites, and more specifically, to the fecal matter that they leave behind.

anonymous on June 02, 2013:

I.m a severe asthmatic and need to keep my home dust free, I'm a clean freak anyway so I don't mind, but it always just blows me away to see the amount of dust in my vacuum cleaner.

Great page, very useful information.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on April 04, 2013:

@DuaneJ: I find that I can breathe it in over a pot on the stove or I can put a small amount in my hand to breathe or touch in and it works.

DuaneJ on March 24, 2013:

This was very helpful. I've tried steam inhalation for mucous build-up but I particularly liked the tip about sniffing a salt and warm water solution.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on March 22, 2013:

@writerkath: So glad I could help you out Kathy. It is very frightening when your lungs are wheezing and you know something is wrong and could get worse.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on March 22, 2013:

@SusanRDavis: My breathing also improved substantially by using preventative care. We removed the rugs from our home and I began using dust mite covers on our bed mattress and pillows. I also keep a window open a crack constantly there and what a difference it has made. I still have mucous and weak lung muscle issues but the majority of the time I can get my lungs back under control.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on March 22, 2013:

@neosurk: I also suffer from bad lungs (courtesy of a chronic illness I was blessed with) and it can be quite scary at times. It is a constant battle to maintain good lung health.

Roberto Eldrum on March 10, 2013:

I feel so sorry for myself that I didn't get to see this lens previously. I had pneumonia when I was an infant (as my mother said) and have serious breathing problems when I get cold. I have tried honey and salt therapy as well, but they have not worked quite good. I sincerely thank you for explaining the alternatives like neti pot and laughs. Will try lung exercise everyday to flush out my lungs. Thanks, Ladymermaid!

Susan R. Davis from Vancouver on February 07, 2013:

I have asthma and have had pneumonia a couple of times. I used to suffer from chronic bronchitis but I've kicked that pretty well with preventative methods these last 10 years or so. Excellent help here. *blessed*

writerkath on January 22, 2013:

For me it's not so much mucous as a "wheeze" that has been lingering in the background for a while. Although I don't know if it's asthma, I'm looking for ways to get rid of it naturally. Excellent information here!

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on January 12, 2013:

@anonymous: This exercise can help (you can also do it in the shower as warm steam sometimes helps to loosen the mucous) Sit in a chair or on the side of the bed, breath slowly in as deeply as you can, then release this breath fully. Do four to five deep breaths in this same manner, and on the last inhalation period rather than just breathing the air out, quickly cough it out.

Do this exercise as many times as needed.

anonymous on January 12, 2013:

what can I do ...I have had the flu...then bronchitus...but I am on doxeycycline and an inhaler...I have some wheezing and cough..seem to can't get the phlem in my lungs to come up to cough you have any ideas.

anonymous on January 12, 2013:

Returning to G+ this very timely article...the flu season is very harsh this year and people are looking for relief of symptoms!

Brian Stephens from France on November 29, 2012:

It's definitely that time of year when coughs and colds can catch you out, especially in the UK where we are heading for Christmas. I'll keep my laptop close so I can check out these suggestions again if I need them.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on November 09, 2012:

@kgdunst: There are a lot of factors needed to keep a body healthy. With breathing difficulties though from excess mucous it is important to discover what is triggering the problem and then work on solving it.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on November 09, 2012:

@mihgasper: I saw a newscast that said you should gargle with salt water 2 to 4 times a day and especially if you are exposed to a cold or flu as it may help to prevent it from taking hold in you.

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on October 31, 2012:

Salt water can really make a difference, just have to be disciplined here!

kgdunst on October 30, 2012:

Healthy body is needed. Loads of water and exercise.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on October 04, 2012:

@attraction 42: Lol...I try. I suffer from a long term chronic illness so I have to take things a day at a time and work on all issues of remaining as healthy as I am able. I'm still here and that is a major accomplishment after all these years.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on October 04, 2012:

@Wendy Leanne: This year my area was very bad for pollutants. They were doing road construction practically right outside of our door and that coupled with smoke following the mountain range into our area. It's been really hard on my lungs and breathing has been difficult. I hope the winter brings cleaner air with it.

Wendy Leanne from Texas on September 29, 2012:

Our entire family was hit hard with a chest cold this year. I tried so hard to treat it at hme with humidifiers, saline nasal sprays, zinc, etc. But my daughter and I both ended up on albuterol inhalers. We finally got better after a month. I agree wth your comment below about lung issues. I have chronic allergies and my daughter had RSV as an infant and as a result we both have lung issues. My other daughter, son, and husband all kicked the same cold without lung problems. My youngest daughter and I ended up with a bad case of chornic bronchitis that took a long time to clear.

attraction 42 on September 21, 2012:

Thank for the information. I just got over a cold.:/

I believe in: A healthy mind in a healthy body. What do you think?

webscan on September 15, 2012:

Occasionally I have phlegm problems.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 10, 2012:

@kathysart: I'm glad you found your way to my naturally removing excess mucous article. My breathing was so bad a few years ago when I moved into my now husband's home that I thought I would never get it under control. We removed the carpets, put dust mite covers on the bed, and now leave a window open constantly and that really helped get my breathing difficulty under control.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 10, 2012:

@brando87: Thanks for stopping by Brando. Having difficulty breathing really is a combination of what is causing the problem, the body producing excess mucous, and not being able to work the mucous and phlegm out. Sitting up or raising the top of the bed certainly helps. I have 3 pillows I use in the bed and i adjust these as I turn in the night to help my breathing.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 06, 2012:

@anonymous: There is generally more pollutants in the air indoors then there is in the air out doors. You will have to judge that though by where you live and by how good the air quality is in your home. They are now finding that radon gas (leaching upward from the basement) is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. That is pretty indoor scary pollution.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 06, 2012:

@aiclogcabins: Honey is great. Also buy some lemons or lemon juice if you can. Lemon will help flush a cold or flu through a little quicker by expelling the liquids you put in. Drink lots! Hope you feel better soon.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 06, 2012:

@anonymous: Kids pick up so many colds as well as the flu because they are in such close contact with so many other individuals. It can be pretty scary for those of us who suffer from chronic illness and may suffer additional lung or breathing issues.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on September 06, 2012:

@Stacy Birch: People who have a lung issues, allergies, chronic illness, or who are elderly will have more difficulty handling the breathing difficulties that come along with the extra phlegm and mucous of a cold. I have shallow breathing and a cold or flu can be very dangerous for me.

Stacy Birch on September 01, 2012:

I have problems when I have a cold, even if the cold shouldn't come with those problems, but as soon as the cold lightens up my lungs start to clear.

anonymous on September 01, 2012:

That cold and flue season will be coming again soon. You know I can avoid it pretty well because I stay home mostly because of fibromyalia. But, when the grandkids come to visit and those bugs are going around, you know what happens. - Just gotta be prepared, and your tips are most helpful to read again. :)

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on August 26, 2012:

@SoniaCarew: As soon as the house gets closed in we get hit by the indoor allergies. Years ago my doctor told me to keep a window open in summer and winter and I have followed his advice. They are now saying that radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. It is an indoor pollutant that comes up from your basement.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on August 24, 2012:

@TonyPayne: Outdoor pollution, dust mites, dander, smoke and other indoor pollutants can really be hard on our breathing. Bad air means the body will produce extra mucous, so we drown in it, and suffer from breathing difficulty.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on August 23, 2012:

@Linda Pogue: Yes, where there are breathing problems there is usually mucous as the problem. I use the breathing exercises I mentioned as well as a hot shower to help relieve the excess mucous and phlegm.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on August 23, 2012:

@robbwindow lm: Dust is a very bad allergin for many people including myself. Dust is often filled with dust mites and people are sensitive to the proteins in their droppings. I have trouble with both regular dust and wood dust.

robbwindow lm on August 21, 2012:

Thanks Ladymermaid great lens, I have all these things I just have to use them. The breathing exercises are a bonus. All in all a really helpful lens thank you. After beating an old dusty carpet a couple of weeks ago I have really struggling to breath, lots of mucus and well I have not had asthma for 12 years now, but I think it may have come back. See how it goes when i turn the humidifier on, thanks again.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on August 19, 2012:

@Brite-Ideas: I have been fighting breathing difficulties for a long time. Interstitual lung disease is an aspect of my chronic illness and so any indoor pollutant or irritant can aggravate the issue.

anonymous on August 16, 2012:

@Lady Lorelei: How can you keep the allergies and sinuses clear if you open up windows and there is a high mold spore day?

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on August 10, 2012:

I don't, but one of my sons has bad allergies - I really feel for people with this problem, it's awful, really horrible. A friend of mine had problems for years in this area. By the way, great information here on breathing issues!

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on August 09, 2012:

@Frugal Bride: There seem to be a lot of us wise enough to know that honey should be kept in the medicine chest as well as in the kitchen cupboard, it really is a great alternative therapy for the flu, coughs, and cold.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on August 09, 2012:

@StewartClan: Me too. Honey is a natural remedy for a number of ailments including sore throat, cough, flu, cold, cuts, bug bites, bee stings, as well as digestive and intestinal problems. I use honey a lot as a natural therapy for many ailments.

StewartClan on July 27, 2012:

I am a great believer in honey as a therapy for many illnesses. I have lost count of the times my sons have been ill and rather than dose them with antibiotics, I have given them manuka honey three times per day instead. They get well very quickly this way. I think the exercises look very interesting too. I will come back with my son to practice some more tips. Thanks for the lens!

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on July 10, 2012:

I am able to ward off most colds and flu before it takes hold by drinking a good glass of OJ each morning to keep my Vitamin C levels up. It definitely works. If I do feel I am getting lethargic and a cold is trying to get hold of me, I pop an Airborne tablet, those really work for me too. Excellent advice here. As a child I used to permanently have a stuffed up nose.

Frugal Bride on June 30, 2012:

I just love honey! It's such a great natural home remedy for almost everything.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on June 29, 2012:

@aesta1: This morning I was doing deep breathing in the shower to loosen up the nighttime phlegm build up. We are just coming out of peek allergy time and the pollen in our area is starting to reduce now thank goodness.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 09, 2012:

Am back to review the exercise I like to remove excess phlegm. Really a good resource for a common problem.

aiclogcabins on May 19, 2012:

Im off to buy some honey now to help with my cold

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on May 12, 2012:

@Virginia Allain: You may have to do some allergy proofing in your home so you can tone down your symptoms. Dust mite covers, get rid of rugs, check for mold, and keep a window open. I hope you find the source of your problem so you get your sinus attacks under control.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 06, 2012:

I think I'll give the honey therapy a try. It gets so tiresome to have painful sinus and earaches all winter. Thanks

SoniaCarew on April 12, 2012:

eah. And it is fall in my country, so allergies all around.

Excellent tips. Will have to come back to them again. And again. Thanks!

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on April 11, 2012:

@gottaloveit2: It seems that the natural therapies for cold, flu, breathing difficulties, and excess mucous are really being forgotten and yet these alternative therapies have so very many fewer side effects than the medicines we would otherwise take.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on April 11, 2012:

@biminibahamas: Hot honey can really soothe the throat and help to control the germs and bacteria that thrive there. Honey is supposed to be as good at relieving a cough as cough syrups you would buy at the pharmacy. I hope you feel better soon.

biminibahamas on April 03, 2012:

Have a cold right now, think I will go make a hot honey water and see what happens!

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on March 25, 2012:

@tvyps: Quite the play on words and when I saw the phlegm (mucous) comment I sort of figured you were here. Lol....glad that you are not suffering from a cold, flu, or other virus and appear to be well and in high spirits.

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on March 25, 2012:

I have had some in the past. Lady Mermaid might say "phlegm" but A-Redneck would say "snot." ha!! Blessed!

gottaloveit2 on March 01, 2012:

Boy, is THIS lens every helpful. John suffers from horrible seasonal allergies. He used a Neti pot which works pretty well and I think I'll have him put honey in his hot drinks. I didn't know honey was all that helpful!

brando87 on February 24, 2012:

Smoking is the number one cause of chest complications later in life. Nearly all smokers will develop COPD, emphysema, or other lung pathologies (cancers, infections, etc...). I like that you mentioned lung exercises, but also exercise in general is very helpful for maintaining lung capacity and mobilizing excess secretions. One thing to avoid is laying in bed flat when you do feel chest congestion. Sitting in a chair with your arms rested and leaning slightly forward is the best position. Great lens.

intermarks on February 21, 2012:

No, I don't have such a problem, but I have got a friend who suffer from asthma, ever since she started to exercise, her asthma reduced.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on February 20, 2012:

@timmytabs: I am very glad that you found some helpful tips here. It is so very frightening when you start drowning from a cold, allergy, or flu. Because I have an illness that causes weak muscle I have to be very careful where the cold and flu is concerned. I guess so many people now as we are an aging population.

timmytabs on February 20, 2012:

Hello, Thank you for the nice article it really helpful.. i live in England and for the last couple of weeks, it has been really cold, to make matters worse, my radiator stopped working i had to call for someone to fix it but because of that time in a cold house, am now suffering from a bad cough. i was using the honey and lemon remedy but i stopped and bought medicine because it was taking long to disappear. But thank you for the material in your lens its very very very helpful.

kathysart on February 17, 2012:

WOW OH WOW!! You covered it BIG time! My husband has breathing problems and I never thought of it before but I could get one of those AeroGardens. He has a hepa filter and I do a lot of these things but bringing in good oxygen from plants is a great idea. I never thought of it because out bedroom is pretty dark. Good one! Angel blessed!

Rose Jones on February 16, 2012:

Wow - I am an advice nurse currently, and we should could use all these suggestions during cold and flu season! Currently we recommend the saline nasal flushes/neti pot and honey for coughs. I tried the deep breath and cough routine and that really works. Recently we pulled up carpet and got down to the hard wood, that helped as well. We are working to make our bedrooms sanctuaries. Wrapping the beds are also very good. I appreciate your natural bent, you bring a lot of value to others in this lens. Angel blessed.

MasterOfSpanish on February 11, 2012:

Occasionally yes, when I have a cold, it all runs to my chest! So recently I have overcome bronchitis and feel 100 percent better than before. I will be trying some of your suggestions above if it occurs again. Thank you.

anonymous on February 06, 2012:

Its always a pleasure to visit your lenses, because they are great resources of information that you have carefully researched. I just posted this to Twitter and FaceBook, for those that might need to read up on good advice. ~ Thank you, my Lady! :)

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on February 04, 2012:

@Light-in-me: Yes. What I usually do is get a cup of warm boiled water and add a teaspoon of salt to it. I then gargle a couple mouthfuls to cleanse my throat. I then dip my finger in, and just put the liquid in my nostril, and sniff it in. It works to help keep things cleansed and my germs down (or so I hope).

Light-in-me on January 30, 2012:

I heard recently that neti pots can be dangerous if not cleaned properly. This is an excellent and informative lens. Chock full of great tips and treatments.

Nice job,

Robin :)

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on December 27, 2011:

@Board-Game-Brooke: I hope you feel better soon and that your coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulties give you some relief soon. Best of wishes.

C A Chancellor from US/TN on December 18, 2011:

I have a cold right now so this lens was particularly interesting to me! It sounds like I'm doing the right things, though... just need to rest & be patient. :-)

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on December 07, 2011:

@LisaAuch1: I hope you are well this winter Lisa. I know how upsetting and frightening breathing difficulty can be.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on December 07, 2011:

@miaponzo: I always use the remedies listed above but I could see thyme working. It is a very old natural remedy.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on December 07, 2011:

@RobinDM: The hot honey lemon drink as well as gargling and rinsing your sinus passageways with salt water really helps with a flu or cold attack.

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on December 07, 2011:

@WildFacesGallery: I have suffered from breathing difficulties for many years. My husband replaced our rugs with cork flooring, I put dust mite covers on my pillows and mattress, and now keep a window open a crack all year long. It has really helped my breathing tremendously. Lol...and a flu shot every year reduces the flu attacks that I get too.

Mona from Iowa on December 01, 2011:

You've made some great suggestions that I'd not thought of before and just in time for the cold & flu season. Beautifully presented.

RobinDM on November 24, 2011:

Very informative. I will try these remedies this year!

miaponzo on November 16, 2011:

One of the best remedies for asthma or phlegm is making a thyme steam... it's simple, natural, and VERY effective!!!

Lisa Auch from Scotland on October 23, 2011:

Great advice here, i have always had a rattlingchest, summer winter, springetc, however I have also given up smoking this year, and I am noticing a huge difference (of cource it could not have helped me! I usually spend the winter with my face in a hot boiling menthol vapour of some sort, so i can't wait to see how this winter goes as it definitely is improving. Blessed

Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on October 02, 2011:

@brando87: Thank you Brando. I have been fighting breathing difficulties for many years. Happy to say that I am still here and have sure learned a lot through the battle. Cursed chronic illness is the cause of my breathing problems.